Brightline, chaired by Wes Edens who is also the co-founder of Fortress Investment Group and Virgin Group, founded and owned by Richard Branson, have forged a partnership that will ensure the growth of America’s first privately funded intercity passenger trains. Brightline will still be run by their executive team along with affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, but Brightline will rename itself Virgin Trains USA this month and by 2019 they will rebrand as Virgin Trains USA. Fortress Investment Group LLC will retain the majority ownership of Brightline.
Along with a service that currently runs in Florida, they have also announced that they will work on an intercity train between Las Vegas and California, which is something that has been talked about for decades but has never come to fruition. The merger will make use of Virgin’s name that has become synonymous with luxury and success. With the roads becoming more congested every year, and people’s commutes taking up more of their time, the new investment in the rail service is long overdue. Fortress Investment Group hopes to change the way people think about their daily commutes and with USB ports, large work tables, bike racks and food and drink served on every train, they hope to get commuters out of their cars and on to the rails. People can even take their pets. Visit vault.com to learn more.
Virgin already has experience in trains having operated a high speed intercity passenger rail system for over 21 years in the United Kingdom. Almost 40 million people took their trains in England last year. While the majority of funds will be managed by Fortress Investment Group, Virgin has pledged investment over the coming years. Virgin hopes it can use it prestige and influence in the hospitality industry to add to their success in mobile telephony, travel and transportation, financial services, leisure and entertainment and health and wellness. Virgin and Brightline will be a partnership that will keep America moving as it turns towards trains for its transport needs.